The benefit of growing two plants in one pot comes down to saving space. Many people choose to do this to increase their garden layout, whether indoors or outside. The trouble with this setup is that it requires a little extra TLC.
You don’t need a green thumb to grow multiple plants in one pot, just a little inspiration and a few great tips.
Can you put two plants in one pot?
The answer is yes; this is not only possible but frequently done by people who have small spaces or simply want to add a variety of looks to one planter.
Growing two plants together can be done with ease as long as you do your homework and understand what multiple plants in one container require to thrive.
12 tips for growing two plants in one pot
If you are ready to get your garden started, here is a list of expert tips and tricks to aid you in successfully combining two plants in one container.
1. Make sure your plants will play nice
First and foremost, choose plants that share the same growing conditions and can tolerate each other in a single pot. Some plant species can be invasive and stunt the growth of others or even kill them altogether.
For example, you should always give mint its own pot. Mint has fast-growing roots that will not make room for the roots of others, and this can cause a severe problem as they continue to grow and thrive.
While mint may not be the best option for combining plants in pots, there are a whole slew of other options out there that can make great companions for one another, with some even able to flourish if you choose to grow three together.
Do plants like being together?
Contrary to popular belief, plants don’t like or dislike being together. It is simply whether or not they can survive in the same environment.
Do potted plants talk to each other?
Communication is the act of exchanging information. Plants do communicate but not in conventional human terms.
Plants share information through underground fungi networks. They communicate various conditions with one another, such as needing to send nutrients to the weaker/smaller plant or even warning about potential threats.
2. Don’t overdo it when combining plants in pots
No matter how well plants grow together, there is only so much space and nutrients to go around. If you try planting multiple plants in one pot and there simply isn’t enough room for them all, you will not get the luscious, vibrant garden you are after.
How many plants can I grow in one pot?
While it is advised to try sticking with the rule of thumb, “two plants, one pot”, keeping your garden to no more than three is crucial.
3. Choosing an appropriate pot size
Picking a few plants that play well together is only half the battle. Even if your plant choices are naturally best of friends, they will struggle to grow if the pot isn’t big enough for them both.
Each plant requires a certain number of resources to thrive and continuously grow; when your pot isn’t large enough to provide enough resources to both plants, the larger plant will gain control of the space, and your smaller plant’s growth can be stunted or never reach its full potential.
4. Give your plants their space
Even the friendliest plants require their own space. Again, healthy plants will keep growing (above the soil and underneath it). When you have multiple plants growing together, they should be placed in the pot at a decent distance from one another, giving them their own space and nutrients.
Do plants like touching other plants?
This will depend on which plants you choose to combine. Certain plants go well with each other, whereas others do not. The plants that are paired well together (companion plants) will not mind touching their respective other plants.
5. Create a watering schedule
Everyone knows the importance of water when growing plants. Whether growing multiple indoor plants in one container or combining plants in pots outdoors, you must develop a routine schedule that will keep your garden happy and hydrated.
While coming up with a schedule, you should think about multiple considerations. If your pots are outdoors, you will want to factor in the weather conditions and exposure, such as excessive heat or rain. Some plants only need to be watered once a week or less; others will require a drink every day or so.
If you combine two plants in one pot inside your house, you should factor in details like air conditioning and humidity.
6. Choosing a quality fertilizer
A larger plant or a more invasive one will drain the soil of essential nutrients before the smaller plant can access them; therefore, applying an appropriate amount of fertilizer to your pot is necessary.
A few types of fertilizers can be used in potted plants, including liquid, granular, and fertilizer spikes.
Because every plant has different needs, it is important to carefully read the instructions on the labels and ensure the product you purchased is safe for your garden.
7. Rehome your plants annually
Healthy plants will continue to grow throughout the year as long as they receive proper care. Whether you have one plant or planting multiple plants in one pot, you need to provide them with a bigger space every year.
The more space you offer your plants, the bigger and fuller they will become, providing them plenty of room to grow and thrive.
The best way to determine when your pot needs to be larger will be when the leaves start to shrivel up, dry out, and become discolored as they run out of growing room.
8. Provide your plants with ample light
Sunlight is just as important to plants as water and nutrient-rich soils; in order for your plants to thrive, they must be provided with ample amounts of sunlight.
To help your plants prosper and grow successfully together, place outdoor pots in an area that offers ample sunlight during the day, providing plenty of energy for the photosynthesis process to occur.
Multiple indoor plants in one container should be kept near a window that receives sunlight for at least 6 hours a day. If this isn’t possible, you will want to purchase a grow light to aid with plant growth.
9. Choose the best soil for the plants you have
There are tons of different soil options out there that will amplify the growth of your indoor and outdoor plants tremendously. However, if you don’t get soil designed for your plants, you might find yourself with a weak or not-so-attractive garden.
A classic soil mixture that is ideal for nearly any potted plant is one part peat moss, one part garden loam, and one part sand or perlite. Using this combination will give your plants natural nutrients and can aid them in growth alongside your fertilizer.
10. Provide an effective drainage system
Although water is a crucial part of plant growth and typically requires a generous amount, especially when combining plants in one pot, too much water will do much more harm than good.
Planting multiple plants in one pot increases the amount of water necessary for plants to thrive and increases the amount of water that drains through the soil and can, in turn, cause pooling at the bottom of the pot.
Roots that sit in pooling water are susceptible to all types of problems and diseases, with one of the most serious being root rot.
Root rot occurs when there isn’t enough drainage in a pot, and the roots drown. Once these roots die, they will begin to develop mold that can then travel up through the plant, slowly killing it.
Root rot occurs underneath the soil; more often than not, the damage is too far along before the disease is discovered.
To avoid root rot or any other water-based illness, ensure there are plenty of drainage holes at the bottom of your planter and that you are using soil that creates substantial aeration.
11. Pruning regularly will help stabilize plant growth
A great way to help contain your plant’s growth and even stunt it at a healthy and ideal size is by pruning it regularly. Pruning overgrown branches and leaves is a common practice amongst gardeners to keep their plants looking amazing while at the same time keeping them under control.
Do plants scream when you cut them?
People often wonder if their plants feel pain; simply put, no, they cannot. However, they release a chemical that acts as a distress call to inform them when they are injured or ill.
12. Stay committed and attentive
The best way to successfully grow healthy plants in one pot is by keeping vigilant and regularly checking on your foliage.
You will have a much easier time catching illnesses, infestations, or overgrowth quickly if you watch over your plants and stay on top of maintenance.
What plants can you put together in a pot?
Remember, it is imperative that you choose plants that grow well together. This is referred to as companion planting.
Companion planting chart:
|Chives, Basil, and Oregano||Bean and Cauliflower||Geraniums and Roses||Agave, Echeveria and Sempervivum|
|Rosemary, Thyme, and Sage||Tomatoes and Cabbage||Coneflowers and Black-Eyed Susans||Aeonium and Aloe|
|Marjoram, Oregano and Lavender||Carrots, Beets, and Cucumbers||Hibiscus and Bee Balm||Graptopetalum and Crassula|
Before starting preparations, be sure to take into account each individual plant’s requirements before combining them in one pot such as average light, average air humidity, average growth size, and average watering schedule.
Unless they have some other incompatibility, combining two plants in one pot is certainly the way to go to create a versatile garden, save space, and grow foliage in just about any location.